There is a time to pipe up. As you advance in your fly fishing and your inner fly fishing algorithm begins to sort yourself to specific likes, desires, wants, and fetishes; other scenarios just won’t turn your crank as much. It’s not that you don’t like them, it’s that you connect with specific scenarios and locations more than others and hone in on those.
And so it was in Chile. We experienced a tidal wave of fly fishing scenarios in some of Earth’s most fantastical mountain trout fly fishing settings. If you follow us on social media you joined us in sharing these incredible experiences. But like grizzly bears at Alaska’s McNeil Falls, 2 months on being absolutely immersed in all wonderful things Chile, we were wanting to dig in, get gritty, dirty, mucky… we needed something to take on… our way. We wanted unpredictable fishing, tiny water fishing… we wanted uncertainty.
And then we saw it.
We were driving to another incredible experience – we’d have to ride a boat 16km across two large lakes through spectacular mountains lined with waterfalls before fishing a short reach of river connecting a third lake. It was chock-full of brown trout and we had an incredible experience. But as we drove there we looked at a tiny roadside spring creek and were instantly pricked by Cupid’s arrow. “We have to fish that!” Amelia and I both began insisting. A couple of days later, after perpetual insistence, our guide Guillermo took us. Niether he nor the guides at the lodge had walked the full length of the creek we were about to fish. He had enjoyed a short reach near the bridge and caught spectacular coloured and spotted browns, which is exactly how our day began. But as we continued upstream, falling into deep wells in the weed mats and off undercut banks, we found exactly what Amelia & I live for. Exploration and taking the time to take it on as we poke about the weeds and mud always holds magic. We added another point to the data set.
I was flying a drone above and saw a large brown button hook into the weed beds below. Being too far to yell, Amelia & Guillermo were going to have to find it on their own. Amelia’s second cast landed 18 perfect inches back of the weedbed, the brown turned down and rose to suck in her beetle. Excited chaos ensued. A fat 20” brown came to hand.
Upstream, Amelia waddled through the mud and weeds, crossing the creek to fish a pocket in the top end of the now widening spring creek. A mixed sky and heavy glare kept her from seeing well but a flash at her beetle on her second cast hinted to lead the fish into the shallow corner pocket. BOOM. Another colorful brown to hand.
In an exciting vibe ringing the entire valley, we watched what appeared to be the largest brown surface. The first time it nosed up the dark back and dorsal slid through the oily slick, glare-filled water. 4 or 5 minutes later a bowling ball crash-landed in the back corner of a pocket as it aerial-assaulted a dragon fly. Amelia was across the flat from Guillermo and me, I was doing my best to sneak the drone overhead. She laid out the perfect cast just 18” our from the weedbed I’d last seen the brown overhead. That smack of the beetle drew that big brown out. It was on.
You can be in perpetual Utopia on a fly fishing trip and still not feel completely connected to every water, every experience. The important thing is to pipe up and share what you connect to. If you see an experience that you know you’ll love, voice it to you, your friend, your host, and your guide. That doesn’t matter if it’s a tributary spring or backwater on a float trip or simply pulling over to hunt one rising trout instead of nymphing all day.
Maybe you want a chance at a large trout on a big streamer instead of smaller fish rising on dries. Whatever it is, say so, do so, try so. Take it on. Even if it means changing everything to connect and take on what you love.
Above is the full video of this experience.
Article and photos from Dave Jensen, follow along with Dave and his wife Amelia on Instagram @jensenflyfishing.